City Desk

Cheap Seats Daily: David Donovan, Snyder’s Latest Newspaper Hater, Was a Paperboy?

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For all his media hatred, Dan Snyder stuffs his staff with media people. Karl Swanson was in newspapers. Larry Michael was a radio executive. Even Vinny Cerrato came back to the team after a stint at ESPN, where he spent a season in exile after being banished by Marty Schottenheimer (who looks more like Vince Lombardi every season for what he accomplished here.)

Turns out the latest attack dog added to Snyder's pack, David Donovan, fits the pattern. Donovan's complete lack of respect for the media or the truth or both comes out every time he talks to a reporter these days. For but one example of Donovan's outlook: He's the guy who told the Washington Post a couple weeks ago that Redskins officials "don't see any difference" in "the way our actual fans are behaving" this season.

But, there was a time when Donovan was way into newspapering. It was all spelled out in a 2007 feature story in the Daily Times Herald of Carroll, Iowa, his hometown, to honor the local boy made good when he took the job as General Counsel with the Redskins.

Make that the local paperboy made good.

(AFTER THE JUMP: Iowa State gave DC David Donovan AND Vinny Cerrato? What did DC ever do to Iowa State to deserve that? Why did David Donovan join the dark side leave journalism? Snyder's media appearance starting to smell fishy? Ripken statue stolen by guy named Stoneburner who hangs out with a bunch of stoneburners?)

"As a youth David worked as a paperboy here at the Daily Times Herald and also spent time in this newspaper's circulation department," we're told.

And then we learn that Donovan was editor of The Charger, the student newspaper at Kuemper Catholic High School in Carroll.

And that at Iowa State University, his alma mater (and also Vinny Cerrato's alma mater, hmmmm), Donovan got his degree in journalism. And when his college schedule allowed, Donovan interned at the Daily Times Herald "covering general news and sports under the tutelage of former Sports Editor Dennis O'Grady."

He was dead set on being a newspaper man.

After ISU, Donovan headed to Florida with no assurances of landing a job, and no firm prospects.

"I moved to St. Petersburg and went to every newspaper in the area," Donovan said.

Only hours away from having to scuttle his journalistic plans and work in a warehouse so he could eat, Donovan talked his way into a copy-editing job at the St. Petersburg Times – widely regarded today as one of the best newspapers in the nation.  Soon, at only age 22, Donovan moved to the Sarasota Journal, a small, 6,000-circulation afternoon paper affiliated with a larger daily.

Then Donovan married a newspaperwoman. And when he got accepted to Georgetown University Law School, he enrolled, but only because he thought a J.D. would help his newspaper career!

He said that during law school it was his intent to use the legal education to further a journalism career.

"I went to law school without any expectations of practicing law," Donovan said.

But, alas, Donovan was a good law student. And during his early days as a practicing attorney, we learn from the story, Donovan had the epiphany that caused to him to give up journalism, and, from the sound of things lately, lose all respect for those who practice it.

"As a reporter, when you call people, they can hang up," Donovan told the Carroll Daily Times Herald. "When you're a lawyer and someone doesn't talk, you can send a subpoena."

What a line! Kinda removes the mystery about who at Redskins Park was behind suing the grandmother.

***

That "rare in-season" media appearance by Dan Snyder on Tuesday at a team-organized charity event is starting to smell.

The only TV person on the scene was Lindsay Czarniak. She's with WRC-4.

Here's a list, taken from a transcript of what Snyder said that was printed on Snyder's website, of all the questions Czarniak asked, in order:

1)What does this mean to you, to be able to be out here?

2)Does it mean something special to get the cheers out there? Is it a refreshing feeling for once?

3)One thing I wanted to ask you, Dan, is about some of the negativity that has been around this team. When you look at things like the ticket controversy and then the signs being banned, does it feel like being out here and getting a chance to turn things around, where do you stand on that stuff?

4)You're human. How does it impact you?

5)People look at you and see the uber-Redskins fan. What are your thoughts about what's going on with this team?

7)What do you need from here on out? What's the next step for you?

Good golly. "You're human!" "People look at you and see the uber Redskins fan"? "What do you need?"

These are the sort of questions you'd think only somebody on the payroll would ask! I mean, only somebody who would wear licensed Redskins shirts on the air would say that!

Oh, wait! Czarniak is an employee of Snyder's Redskins Broadcast Network who talks about the Redskins while wearing licensed Redskins shirts on WRC's news broadcasts! Coincidence?

And now Pro Football Talk reports that the announcement the Redskins put out about the team's charity event, held at a Maryland high school, didn't mention that Snyder would be talking.

So all the newspaper people stayed away, except AP's Joseph White, who didn't get any questions in. And all the local TV reporters stayed away, except Czarniak. And Snyder only talked to Czarniak, who's on Snyder's payroll! And who asks how's he feeling and tells him he's "human" and the "uber-Redskins fan!"

Wow. 'Course, if it wasn't for Czarniak's Redskins employment and licensed wardrobe, nobody's suspect a thing.

***

One of Cal Ripken's statuenappers 'fessed up and was sentenced. Jason Stoneburner, who from the sound of things is a real stoneburner, got a suspended two years jail term and restitution to the Baltimore Orioles of about a thousand bucks. Seems fair.

Now he'll surely have to go state's evidence against the three other stoneburners (including Gary Parker, pictured above) who allegedly helped him rip Ripken's statue  — which, contrary to his reputation as an Iron Man, was made of aluminum — from its moorings at Camden Yards one September night.

The crew, all in their upper teens, threw Ripken in the back of their pickup before heading over to Patterson Park for one last round of, you know, stoneburning before lawmen got involved and saved Baltimore's favorite son.

***

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  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Lindsay called Mr. Snyder "Dan"? I'm surprised he didn't punch her. Punky Snydester doesn't like being called "Dan".

    What a sad, pathetic case Ms. Czarniak has become. It's good she's the best lay in town, bar none, hopping & thrashing around like a little bird, b/c if she had to earn her daily bread by being a journalist, she'd struggle to get barely enough to eat.

  • Hondo Howard

    8) Does Tanya swallow like me?

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  • No One

    When did Dave McKenna give up on journalism? I'm reading back through his columns and I haven't come across any yet.

  • Steve

    @No One: That's most likely because, in the wake of the lawsuit, you're paid to discredit Dave McKenna's 10,000 accurate articles about your boss.

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